This summer I have been playing around with a green screen iPad app by DoInk. As their website says, the green screen effect works by combining images from multiple sources into a single video. These images can come from photos or videos in your cameral roll, or from the live video camera. In addition to the app ($2.99) and you will need a green screen which is simply a large piece of green fabric. Using a green screen in the background, allows you to look like you are showing a weather map or being invaded by aliens.
I struggled a bit figuring out DoInk, but then found a great tutorial video on youtube by Jonathan Wylie that helped a bunch. I am looking forward to using it with students this fall, but here's a sample of what I did by myself.
Each year I facilitate a number of workshops through the Bureau of Education and Research (BER.) They have just announced my schedule for the 2014-2015 school year, and I am sharing it with you in the hope that you will join me! For more details check www.ber.org or contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Using iPads and the Current Best Apps to Improve Learning of Your Students with Special Needs (K-6)
November 17, 2014 Peoria, IL
November 18, 2014 Chicago, IL
November 19, 2014 Dallas, TX
November 20, 2014 San Jose, CA
November 21, 2014 Pasadena, CA
Current, Best iPad Apps to Enhance and Strengthen Student Learning (K-6)
December 15, 2014 Boston, MA
December 16, 2014 Manchester, NH
December 17, 2014 Albany, NY
December 18, 2014 Rochester, NY
February 2, 2015 San Jose, CA
February 3, 2015 Sacramento, CA
February 4, 2015 Pasadena, CA
February 5, 2015 Anaheim, CA
February 6, 2015 Phoenix, AZ
Co-Teaching that Works: Effective Strategies for Working Together in Today’s Inclusive Classrooms (K-12)
March 16, 2015 Rochester, NY
March 17, 2015 Newark, NJ
March 18, 2015 Long Island, NY
March 19, 2015 Burlington, VT
March 20, 2015 Detroit, MI
April 20, 2015 Atlanta, GA
April 21, 2015 Houston, TX
April 22, 2015 Dallas, TX
April 23, 2015 Tulsa, OK
April 24, 2015 Phoenix, AZ
Co-Teaching that Works, National Train-the-Trainer Institute
December 2 – 5, 2014 Boston, MA
This week I was working with a creative group of teachers from American Leadership Academy in Arizona.The teaching ideas were being generated so quickly that the temperature rose to 116 degrees! I challenged the group to develop variations on the traditional "ticket out the door" idea. Here's one of the ideas a teacher shared.
Memory experts tell us that students need to recode learning into their own words in order to move it into long-term memory. This is such a simple way to do that! I especially love that it can be used by any teacher, any subject area, any grade level!
Keep students actively attending during read aloud or lectures with these Brain Bursts!
Combine a brain image with a burst image, print, laminate and adhere to a wooden craft stick.
Explain to students that their brains have bursts of electricity when they make connections and think about new ideas.
Then give each student a Brain Burst and ask them to use their dry erase markers to write the concept of the day on the brain. In this example, students were learning about similes.
They kept the Brain Bursts on their desks, and were encouraged to raise it high whenever they heard a simile. During read aloud time there were several, but the teacher also used them in her conversation throughout the day.
Students were paying attention and excited to have the opportunity to share their brain burst with the class.
One of my summer projects is to develop more lessons that integrate augmented reality (AR.) A few weeks back I described AR in a post about a specific app that utilizes this technology. I was so inspired by the reactions of the students, that I have been playing around with Aurasma, an app that lets you design your own AR experiences for free.
In addition to using it in classrooms, I am going to model it in my adult workshops. My first try is with a workshop handout I occasionally use to review Marzano's top instructional strategies research. I have augmented it with a video clip of Marzano explaining his big mistake. To see my AR overlay, follow these steps:
In the fall I will blog about many of the ideas I create this summer with Aurasma. What will you create?
A Learning Time Line is a wonderful way to capture learning over time or throughout a unit of instruction. Because research supports the use of non-linguistic approaches to capture and review concepts, I have used this strategy with students in the past. This week I decided to try it with adults. During a 3 day professional learning workshop on co-teaching, we documented our learning with words and pictures on a scroll of chart paper hung on the wall. I love no-prep strategies like this one!
It's Saturday morning and I just spent about 30 minutes learning how to use PowToon - a free animation tool. It was very intuitive, with a sufficient variety of free tools to leave me feeling satisfied. Of course, you can upgrade to a Pro account if you have spare dollars, but it's not necessary. I will use this as a teacher to add some "Pow" to my instruction, and can imagine how much fun students will have using it, too!
Watch my simple video and then find some play time!
Did you know that you can develop a word cloud of a website?
Tagxedo.com allows you to enter a URL and automatically generate a word cloud of the text on that site. This is an efficient way for students preview or review a site with a lot of text, or for a class to explore key vocabulary terms they will encounter on the site.
The screenshot to the left is a word cloud Tagxedo created of my website.Try one for your class website and see what pops up!
Looking for an easy, engaging formative assessment tool? Try Plickers - like a clicker system without the expense!
Here's how it works:
1.Go to the website and print out the cards for your class. Each card has a unique barcode - a paper clicker. Each side of the card has a letter A-D. Link each card to a student name, i.e. 1 = Ashley, 2 = Caleb, 3 = Stephen, etc.
2. Using the app on your smartphone or iPad, design a multiple choice question. Choose the best answer A-D. Ask the students the question verbally, display it under a doc cam or on your projector, or write it on a board.
3. Students answer questions by holding up their plickers so that they face the teacher's device. The teacher scans the cards - see the video below.
4. The teacher gets an instant bar graph while scanning and data that shows how each individual student answered the question. Answers are even color-coded green and red for correct/incorrect. You can show the students or keep the results private.
Plickers can be used for assessing students' knowledge but would also be effective for polling their opinions. If students keep their plickers in their desks or folders for class, they can quickly pull them out for an on-the-spot assessment.